Sunday, March 26, 2017     Volume: 18, Issue: 3
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Santa Maria Sun / Letter To The Editor

The following article was posted on March 14th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 2 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 2

Democracy by force

By Robert Scott - Santa Maria

Oscar Wilde once said, “Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.” In the case of Santa Maria, it is the proposition of Santa Barbara Councilman Jason Dominguez, and losing council candidate Hector Sanchez, who are the “people” who are threatening to bludgeon the people of Santa Maria into their form of democracy. And sadly, the female City Council persons displayed more strength to stand up for principle than to submit to electioneering terrorism. The weak-kneed bowed before an altar of cost instead of even putting it all up for a ballot vote by ALL of Santa Maria, and not those as according to Mr. Sanchez’s own words, who could not “step aside from politics and aside from their positions,” as he obviously cannot.

“I look forward to your decision because frankly, I don’t want to have to see you in 95 days,” Sanchez said (“Democracy 2.0,” March 2)—John Gotti could not have said it better. Democracy is precious. Principles fought and died for even in our current generation. I would have hoped that principle, honor, tradition, and winning or losing elections based on the vote and not of threat of lawsuit would have guided the council. Bullies only win when we let them. Seemingly, if I read it right, Mr. Dominquez as legal counsel would have only been limited to $30,000? If that is correct, we would have lost a small price to pay for keeping Santa Maria an open and honest one man, one vote democracy.

District elections are always presented in a glorious light. That the people in them will get sunshine, lollipops, and whatever they can from the government largesse. Instead, the reality is that they can become political fiefdoms from which, once in power, the prince becomes very difficult to dethrone. And instead of benefitting the “community of Santa Maria” as a whole, it becomes the game of thrones. Hopefully, this is not an attempt for Mr. Sanchez to carve out a district to create a better chance of winning.

The council can reverse itself. Create a proposition for a citywide ballot vote. Remove the cloud of democratic blackmail that will forever taint all who have been associated with this decision, and how it was brought about in the first place. Let the public forums, newspapers, and media thoroughly examine and debate the issue in the coming 2018 elections, not as a result of a gun being put to the council’s head.